In the spirit of Steve Irwin, we have learned that no wild animals should be killed for food as we have an abundance of farm animals. Also, many people believe that activities such as whaling belong in the past.
However, a report from LEAD, which also has been refereed to by FAO, stated
“The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
“Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large. The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency. Major reductions in impact could be achieved at reasonable cost.” [end of quote]
The report also stated that cattle fed on artificial fodder in factory farms constantly suffered from stomach ache. (Maybe not a problem for Australian cattle, as I understand they are kept in big paddocks.)
From a strict animal welfare aspect we also know of the cruelty associated with pig farms. Here’s an example:
“Gestation crates are 2-foot by 7-foot metal cages used to confine breeding pigs for months on end. Pigs confined suffer leg and joint problems and psychosis resulting from extreme boredom and frustration. Confinement in gestation crates is so abusive that the entire European Union is phasing out the practice, with a total ban taking effect in 2013.”
In light of these issues, I wonder if it is time to re-evaluate our opinion of factory farming relative to the harvest of natural resources, such as eating organic kangaroo meat or a minke whale steak?
In whaling discussions at the blog, there have been slight cultural differences.
Also, most Norwegian NGOs (except Greenpeace and WWF) are not opposed to whaling. Their main argument being that it’s more eco-friendly to consume minke whales than factory farmed meat. Note these NGOs have in other cases a similar agenda to most large, international NGOs.
Regarding factory farming, the animal welfare organisation WSPA stated : “In terms of numbers, intensive farming is the biggest cause of animal suffering in the world.”
Travis provided evidence in a previous post on kangaroo culling, and as I have understood, it is done in a humane way.
Whaling is perhaps more controversial in this aspect, as we know, for example, from the Norwegian hunt that 20 percent of the whales don’t die instantly (statistics submitted by Norwegian researchers to the IWC). The time to death , TTD, varies between some minutes to one hour, but is seems like a majority of the whales die within some minutes.
So the final question to you is:
“Would you prefer to be kept in captivity, without sunlight for the rest of your life, or is whaling a better alternative?”
Note, in this globalized world, it would be very difficult to completely abandon factory farming.